Medical Assistant

Service:Surface Fleet
Branch:Medical
Level:Rating
Adventure
Healthcare
Humanitarian aid
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The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Being a Medical Assistant in the Royal Navy means embarking on a career that offers more variety and adventure than you’d ever experience in civilian medicine. From the day you join, you’ll gain new skills, pushing yourself to the limit in some unique and challenging environments. You could be training with Special Forces in West Africa, or working in primary care on board a ship in the Persian Gulf.

Your role

  • Make a real difference to some essential operations. That might mean being the only medic on board ship, and taking responsibility for the general healthcare of an entire crew.
  • Use your medical expertise where it’s needed most, providing primary healthcare to trauma victims in conflict zones all over the world
  • When you’re not on deployment or working at a Royal Navy shore base, you’ll be on rotation within an NHS hospital. There’s no equivalent civilian role, so you’ll gain all the skills you need and more.
  • Work across all medical departments, learning directly from specialists in a number of different fields

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Study for GCSEs, A-Levels, NVQs or even a degree, paid for by us
  • Gain specialist vocational qualifications as your career progresses

Skills you'll develop

  • Learn about first aid, environmental and preventative medicine, anatomy and physiology
  • Develop your skills in specialist areas, like pharmacy or nursing

What you'll need

Eligibility

  • There are no minimum qualification requirements
  • You'll need to be aged at least 16 years and 9 months old when you apply, and under 37 years old when you begin basic training
  • You need to be a minimum height of 151.5cm and within the healthy range for Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • You must be a British or Irish national, a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for the 5 years prior to applying, or a dual national

Skills and interests

  • A quick thinker with a passion for helping people
  • Great team players who thrive on working with others
  • Enthusiasm for working in high pressure environments
  • Hands on people who can react fast in an emergency

Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Pre Royal Navy Course (PRNC)

    This four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy is a pass or fail course

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh


Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape. There’s also a swimming test, so if you can’t swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.


Professional training

Once you have the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, it’s time to start your specialist training, where you’ll focus on developing your medical expertise for use in the maritime environment.

Start defence medic training, this is tri-service and you will train with your Army and RAF counterparts. The course is 52 weeks long, including paramedic placements working with the ambulance service, Emergency Department placements in hospitals.  Alongside this you will have to complete exams and course work which makes sure your anatomy and physiology is up to scratch.  On completion of the training you will gain a qualification as a Emergency Medical Technician Level 4.